Wisdom For 2017 (I)

THE year 2017 is still very young. It is important, therefore, to keep our focus on things that will help prepare us for the remaining days of the year. At the beginning of a New Year like this, a lot of people make the mistake of rushing into relationships, businesses and other ventures without first taking out time to reflect on how far they’ve fared in years past and how best they can work and live their lives in the future. Such haste-makers think it a waste of time to plan or prepare. But planning and preparation for a New Year helps to improve one’s work, relationships and other factors of our existence, not only in the year at hand, but in years to come. Please know this: it is foolishness to start off the New Year with the usual “rat race”, without self-appraisal–seeking to know how to do your work better, live your life better andm make your future brighter! The first to start a race is not always the winner of the race! Eccl. 9:11 says, “the race is not to the swift…but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Victory is not always for those who are considered to be strong, just like those who are the fastest the ones that always win in the race of life. There are other factors of success that are beyond the physical. The spiritual, the supernatural plays more roles in the overall equation of every man’s success than most of us can readily understand. There’s also the element of time and opportunity (chance), as stated in the scripture above. And we must know that opportunity is best utilized by those who are prepared to take it, not by those who are just hasty! Haste is never an asset in our quest for success because, “he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent,” so says Prov. 28:20. Success is not for those who make haste but those who prepare for it. If you make haste at the beginning of the year like this but are not prepared to take up responsibilities and opportunities that will always come, you may end up a failure, without anything to show at the end of the year. Another wise man said, “Success happens when opportunity meets preparation.” With this, we come to the wisdom of preparation.
Preparation is vital to success. It is never a waste of time to take out time to prepare before kick-starting any meaningful venture. It is important to plan and prepare yourself for the year. To succeed this year, you must engage in Proper Preparation and Effective Planning. Success is never an accidental discharge. It is always a well-thought out, well- planned activity. If you stumble into success, you will also stumble out into failure. That shall not be your portion, in Jesus name! 2 Chronicles 27:6 says, “So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.” See that? Jotham’s greatness didn’t just fall on him. He planned and prepared for it. Greatness is always prepared for.
Success is a prepared package for prepared people! It is the prepared that become the preferred! No one succeeds by just by chance! ‘Accidental success’ always ends in accidental failure! For you to live above the usual, the common and the ordinary; there’s always the need for adequate preparation and proper planning. Porous planning leads to poor performance which brings about proper failure! But effective planning and proper preparation often result in resounding success. Proverbs 24:27 gives us a very clear instruction: “Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house,” while Luke 14:28 asks, “For which of you, intending to build a tower,
•sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” These verses of scripture point us to the need for planning and preparation in our quest for monumental achievements. If your life must be better this New Year than what obtained years past, then you must consciously plan and prepare yourself for this year. Those who make haste into life’s ventures without planning and preparing end up with avoidable mistakes throughout the year–albeit, with painful regrets. There’s nothing wrong in sitting down to consider your life, ponder on your work and chart new courses of growth and progress for your family and business. As a person, you know how you’ve fared years past and will agree that you never had a clear blue-print or action plan for those ‘lost years’, hence the failure and disappointment you suffered. Will you like to repeat such an error this New Year?! Certainly no! To avoid that, start planning and preparing for the year, now!
There’s a popular saying that, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Instead of failing to plan, it is better to plan not to fail. It is during the planning and preparation time that one makes a retrospective analysis of his life, his successes and challenges, in order to know how to forge ahead in a higher and better way. During planning, a wise planner gives off things that distract him or her, and focuses on the needful. It is not everything that needs your attention that you must attend to, if you are to succeed this year. Apostle Paul said in 1 Cor. 6:12: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” He also said in 1 Cor. 10:23: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” If you are to experience positive change in business, career and family this year, you must prioritize the activities of your life. If you give attention to everyone that comes your way, you will be distracted. And distraction is the greatest enemy of success!
Again, it is during planning period and preparation time that one is exposed to divine direction; God speaks to us and guides us in the way we ought to go. There’s what to do, there’s where to reside, there’s work you have to do. Many are confused in life; not knowing the next step to take in life; ignorant of who to marry or what career to follow, or what job to choose. Only God can break that jinx of confusion in your life. But you must cultivate the solemnity and tranquility needed to be on God’s frequency for you to receive divine direction. It is during solemn periods that people hear the voice of God to know what to do for the year. Many people are walking in paths God never designated for them. And this error continues year in, year out. The greatest preparation is that of your heart, and only God can prepare your heart to achieve success this year, as it is written, “The preparations of the heart in man …is from the LORD” (Prov. 16:1). To have God prepare your heart, pray this prayer: Heavenly Father, I surrender my heart to You. I ask that You forgive my sins. I believe Jesus, Your Son died for my redemption. Prepare my heart and help me to plan my life towards success this New Year, and all the remaining days of my life, in Jesus name!